[Footnote 1: Natural History of Staffordshire, by Robert Plot, L.L.D., fol. 1686. Dr. Plot wrote also a Natural History of Oxfordshire, and was a naturalist of mark, one of the Secretaries of the Royal Society, First Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Historiographer Royal, and Archivist of the Herald’s Office. He died in 1696, aged 55.]
[Footnote 2: Dr. Atterbury]
[Footnote 3: Diogenes Laertius, Bk. viii.]
The paths of Virtue must be reached by
Arduous and long, and on a rugged soil,
Thorny the gate, but when the top you gain,
Fair is the future and the prospect plain.
Works and Days, Bk. i. (Cooke’s Translation).]
[Footnote 5: [in the]]
[Footnote 6: John Scott, a young tradesman of Chippenham, Wilts., prevailed on his friends to send him to Oxford, and became D. D. in 1685. He was minister of St. Thomas’s, Southwark, Rector of St. Giles in the Fields, Prebendary of St. Paul’s, Canon of Windsor, and refused a Bishopric. He was a strong opponent of the Catholics, and his ’Christian Life,’ in folio, and 5 vols. 8vo, became very popular. He died in 1694.]
* * * * *
No. 448. Monday, August 4, 1712. Steele.
‘Foedius hoc aliquid quandoque audebis.’
The first Steps towards Ill are very carefully to be avoided, for Men insensibly go on when they are once entered, and do not keep up a lively Abhorrence of the least Unworthiness. There is a certain frivolous Falshood that People indulge themselves in, which ought to be had in greater Detestation than it commonly meets with: What I mean is a Neglect of Promises made on small and indifferent Occasions, such as Parties of Pleasure, Entertainments, and sometimes Meetings out of Curiosity in Men of like Faculties to be in each other’s Company. There are many Causes to which one may assign this light Infidelity. Jack Sippet never keeps the Hour he has appointed to come to a Friend’s to Dinner; but he is an insignificant Fellow who does it out of Vanity. He could never, he knows, make any Figure in Company, but by giving a little Disturbance at his Entry, and therefore takes Care to drop in when he thinks you are just seated. He takes his Place after having discomposed every Body, and desires there may be no Ceremony; then does he begin to call himself the saddest